To get to the Western Wall today from the Jewish Quarter requires a fair bit of walking and descending about 140 stairs. In order to make the Kotel accessible to all, the government of Israel has invested in a $14 million dollar operation to build an elevator and an underground passageway that will lead from the “Misgav Ladakh” street in the Jewish quarter directly to the Kotel. The plan includes the construction of a 33-meter (108 feet) elevator shaft that will connect to a 65-meter (210 feet) pedestrian tunnel. The tunnel exit will lead to the current day Western Wall security checkpoint.
The project began just over two years ago in 2017. When the digging started, archeologists discovered an ancient aqueduct that led water to the Holy Temple. The aqueduct originates 21 kilometers (13 miles) away in Al-Arroub. It was constructed 2000 years ago in a momentous engineering feat that supplied water to Jerusalem.
It is estimated that the elevator will be completed by 2023. By all accounts, it is an impressive milestone that will bring the Western Wall closer to all who want to visit it.